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Creating a Safe Kitchen

This DIY Basic will provide tips on creating a safe kitchen.

More in Kitchen

Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Gather Your Materials and Tools

Materials and Tools:
1x4 hardwood lumber
waterproof wood glue
mineral oil
table saw
belt sander
tape measure
safety goggles
dust mask
hearing protection

Step 3: Practice Fire Safety

Install a tested, UL-rated fire extinguisher near the stove but not so close that you can’t reach it in case of a fire.

Install a smoke detector in your kitchen and check the batteries whenever the time changes.

Step 4: Take Precautions Near the Stove

Never let pan handles stick out from the stove.

Never leave hot oil unattended on the stove. Don’t set water or cold liquids near hot grease; they could spatter and burn you.

Never pick up a hot pan with a damp hot pad or oven mitt.

Avoid glazed tile for kitchen floors; spills will make it slick.

Step 5: Store Cleaning Fluids Properly

Never store volatile cleaning fluids or kerosene in the kitchen.

Other cleaning supplies should be stored away from food or in a shelf underneath food. Install childproof latches on cabinets to protect children and pets from contents.

Step 6: Install GFCI Outlets

Never overload kitchen circuits or use extension cords to power appliances.

Install GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interruption) outlets near sinks.

Never operate electrical appliances near the sink.

Additional safety tips:

  • Make sure kitchen work surfaces are well lit with no shadows or lights shining in eyes.
  • Broken glass should be wrapped in layers of newspaper before being put in the trash.

Step 7: Build a Hardwood Cutting Board

Never store sharp knives loose in a drawer. For safe cutting and chopping, build a heavy, stable, hardwood cutting board. Fine-grained hardwoods such as maple, walnut and cherry are the best choices for lumber.

Start by ripping the wood into strips to match the height and width you want. Standard thickness for a cutting board is 1 to 2 inches; the thicker the board the more stable it will be. Strips should be 1/2 inch longer than the finished cutting board length and 1/16 inch deeper.

Place the strips side by side, alternating colors of wood or light and dark tones for a butcher-block effect

Glue the strips together with waterproof wood glue and clamp them tightly. Do not over glue and wipe off any excess immediately.

After the glue has set, remove the clamps and use a table saw to trim the strips to the length you want. Sand the board with a belt sander and level it.

Round the edges with a router.

Rub mineral oil into the board and let it cure overnight.

Clean your cutting board regularly with soap and water and rub it with mineral oil once a month.

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